Thirty-two projects nationwide will now receive funding from the Sexual Misconduct Support and Resource Centre (SMSRC) through the new Community Support for Sexual Misconduct Survivors Grant Program.
The projects are not-for-profit Canadian, community-based organizations that support those impacted by sexual misconduct. They will either receive a one-time grant of up to $50,000 or $75,000 annually for a maximum of three years.
The Grant Program will increase the number of programs funded by the SMSRC from eight sexual assault centres near bases to 30 community-based service providers located across Canada, according to the Department of National Defence (DND). This will allow more people from the DND community to access the services they need.
“Survivors of sexual misconduct in our institution deserve comprehensive support and access to care. Through the innovative Community Support for Sexual Misconduct Survivors Grant Program, we are increasing access to a range of support services, and helping to ensure the wellbeing of our Defence community. At the same time, we are working to create an institutional culture that enables every member of our team to reach their full potential in an environment where they feel protected and respected,” said Minister of National Defence Anita Anand.
Supporting a Broader Range
The new Grant Program was created due to requests by those impacted by sexual misconduct to have access to a wider range of community-based supports, according to DND.
“Since 2019, the SMSRC has been providing funds to civilian sexual assault centres located near nine of the largest Canadian Forces bases in its Contribution Program. The new Grant Program is more flexible; it supports funding to community-based service providers anywhere in Canada that can implement new projects and support members of the Defence community who live in underserved communities.
“We are continuously working to provide more support services to those affected by sexual misconduct and are delighted that we are now able to support funding to 30 organizations, 22 more than we funded in the Contribution Program,” said Linda Rizzo Michelin, chief operating officer, Sexual Misconduct Support and Resource Centre, Department of National Defence.
DND believes the new project will allow for greater collaboration between the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and community-based projects in the area.
Minorities Accessing Services
The projects chosen to receive the grant were successful in their applications because they reached out to venerable populations such as those living in rural and remote areas, Black people, Indigenous Peoples, other racialized groups, linguistic minorities, persons with disabilities, and 2SLGBTQI+.
“For anyone who experienced sexual misconduct during their military career, the journey of healing is not something they should have to go through alone. We have to keep doing more to help. Today’s recipients will provide the kind of support Veterans, serving CAF members and DND public servants need when they need it. I encourage anyone who has been affected by military sexual trauma to reach out,” commented Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence.
Types of Projects
Projects supported by the SMSRC can be found in most of Canada’s provinces, including Alberta, British Columbia, Quebec, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Ontario.
Many of the projects funded through the grant are initiatives of local sexual assault centres or counselling centres.
For a complete list of all the service providers receiving grant funding, click here.
National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence
The new Grant Program is made possible thanks to investments of $10 million over five years from Budget 2021. In addition, it supports the National Action Plan to End Gender-based Violence.
“This announcement represents another step forward in preventing gender-based violence, and supporting victims and survivors as well as their families. This funding builds on the tremendous work underway to end gender-based violence through the National Action Plan to End Gender-based Violence and the Federal Gender-based Violence Strategy. Congratulations to all recipients and thank you for your dedication in providing critical supports that enable individuals to have a safe place to access the services they need. Our hope is that one day, this kind of critical support will no longer be needed,” stated Marci Ien, minister for women and gender equality and youth.